Pt 658

Can anyone tell me what type of gun is mounted on the forecastle of this PT boat just forward of the 20mm Oerliken? It has a circular shaped magazine/feeding device I am not familiar with. The rounds in it appear to be 40mm Bofors or something similar.

Original Navy caption reads: 060610-N-0975R-002 Portland Ore. (June 10, 2006) - Patrol Torpedo Boat (PT) 658 transit past U.S. Navy ships at the Portland Rose Festival. PT 658 was saved by volunteers and veterans from the Oregon area. The group successfully restored the 50-Ton World War II Motor Boat to full operational condition including the full armament and three original Packard V-12 engines. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ralph Radford (RELEASED


37mm Oldsmobile M9 autocannon


From “Savetheboat” website What a brillient job the guys have done.

Details are from the Fact Sheet page

Armament: As a late war Higgins (PT625 class) the PT658 was, for her size, one of the most heavily armed vessels in the US Navy

40mm Bofors M3 cannon: 4 round clips, 130 rpm, 2890 muzzle velocity, range 5420yds 2lb projectile weight

37mm Oldsmobile M9 autocannon: 30 rd magazine, 125rpm, muzzle velocity 2000 fps, range 8875 yds

2 twin 0.50 cal Browning M2 Machine Guns: belt fed, 550 rpm, muzzle velocity of 2930 fps, max effective range 2500 yds, max range 4.2 miles, air cooled, recoil operated, gun length 61.5 inches, 24 inch barrel, gun weight 84 pounds, 710 gr. FMJ bullet, powder charge 235 grains,. Weight of 100 rds of linked M2 ball in ammunition can is approximately 35#

2 M4 20mm Oerlikon cannons: 60 rd cap mag, 480rpm, muzzle velocity 2740 fps, range 5500 yards, 8.5 oz round weight

4 Mk13 Aircraft Torpedoes: (600# warhead) 22.5 inch diameter, 13

It you want a model of this type of PT boat, there is one in 1:35 scale

Even better, here’s how to build the model, some interesting pics of the model under construction.

Thanks Ray and Kevin for the great information

I believe that “bow gun” was the same gun mounted in the nose of a P-40 aircraft during the early days of the war.

For a few years at our store, we had a retired Navy Captain working for us part-time, Captain Jack Gibson. He was an officer in the same PT-Boat Flotilla as PT-109, and if you ever see the movie on PT-109, check the credits, and you will see he was the technical advisor. I will not bore everyone with his story of what really happened in the “PT-109 Incident”, but Jack told me that as the war went on, they had fewer military-type ships to attack, but were much more often confronting barges full of troops reinforcing Japanese forces on various islands like Guadalcanal. Jack had a couple of torpedo tubes removed from his boat and “requisitioned” as many BARs, .30 MGS and .50 MGS as he could put on the boat and had men available to handle. He also, seeing a some wrecked “Aircobras” (pardon me if I got this plane wrong - I know little about them) at the side of the field on his home base island, being used for parts, he had his crew “obtain” one of the nose cannons from the plane and rigged it up on the bow of his boat. He evidently was the first to do it, but it became almost standard armament later. I am not sure if this is the gun referred to in the picture on this thread, but I think so, because he discribed the large, circular magazine to me.

Jack was writing his memoirs, but passed away before he could finish them. A real tragedy. A lot of good history was lost, told by a man who did not gloss over the facts, for better or for worse. He was in most of the major naval battles of the Pacific after his first assignment as an Ensign fresh out of Anapolis as a military attach


The M4 37MM was built into the P-39 and P-63 aircraft.


Was the P-39 the Bell Air Cobra? That, I think, is the plane that Jack mentioned. I guess the P-40, thinking about it, was the plane the Flying Tigers flew and was a Curtiss design, wasn’t it? I shouldn’t have even used a Model number - I don’t know diddly-poo about airplanes. I am pretty sure he said the gun they “midnight requisitioned” came from the nose of damaged Air Cobras that were being cannabalized due to lack of parts for the plans not all shot up on the ground or in the air.


The P-39 was the Airacobra.
The P-63 was the Kingcobra.

The -63 was a so-called upgraded version of the -39. It was a different airplane with lots of similarites, visual and otherwise.


Very cool, but I like the sweet MK13 torpedoes mounted on that PT boat the best :-) Reminds me of Mcales Navy TV show. Those guys really know how to restore a PT boat. Amazing job.